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Salary Range
€35k - €65k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Works on the design and construction of structures like bridges, roads and railways.


  • Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.

In Summary - Civil / Construction Engineer

Career Sectors

Civil / Construction Engineers typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Civil Engineering
Engineering & Manufacturing
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Further Information

The Work - Civil / Construction Engineer

The work of civil and structural engineers combines site and design work.

Civil engineers work on projects that involve multidisciplinary teams including architects, quantity surveyors and building services engineers. Construction Engineering a professional sub-practice area of Civil Engineering.

Civil engineers work in offices and sometimes on building sites. Office duties include computer modelling of all kinds of extreme events such as floods in rivers and traffic jams on bridges. Civil engineering has many sub-disciplines such as Structural Engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, and hydraulic engineering. It is the broadest of the engineering fields.  
Civil Engineers also supervise technicians making detailed drawings for use on-site, write and check specifications for projects, plan work and keep records of progress, plant stock and finance. They must decide what the best materials are for a job and also what sort services are needed to service a building.  
Most large projects involve multi-disciplinary design teams that can include Civil Engineers, Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Building Service Engineers and occasionally specialists such as Geologists, Ecologists and Archaeologists.  
When a construction project is under way, Civil engineers on-site are responsible for making sure that the work is being carried out according to the designs, plans and estimated timescale. They are therefore involved in extensive liaising with the other disciplines and with the client and/or contractor, local landowners and the public. 

They use specialist equipment to survey the site to make sure that construction work is being carried out in the right place and that the structure is safe; for example, that steel reinforcement is correctly in place. They also supervise construction workers and engineering technicians.

Due to current demand in this field, graduate starting salaries are often above average.

Municipal Engineering

Municipal engineering is a branch of civil engineering. It deals with the public services controlled by local authorities, central government, water companies and nationalised industries. It includes operation and maintenance of road and traffic systems, street lighting, public buildings, coastal protection, water supply and the disposal of sewage and refuse. They also gather and analyse data on municipal projects and prepare reports.  
Municipal engineers are mainly involved in design work for construction projects. They must consider the impact that the scheme will have on the environment at this stage. They may conduct ground surveys and produce detailed designs before preparing a contract so that engineering companies can bid for the work. Computers are an essential tool in this work. Municipal engineers then manage the construction project by supervising the contractors and by making sure that the work is being carried out according to the specifications in the contract. 

Municipal engineers also have a monitoring role. They are involved in reviewing road parking and street lighting, for example, and they must identify possible changes as well as new schemes. They then advise on the services that are needed and talk to the public and central government. Most municipal engineers specialise in an area like construction, environment, hydraulics or transportation. They create plans on computers which test and predict problems with the structure

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Manage and direct staff members and the construction, operations, or maintenance activities at project site.
  • Provide technical advice regarding design, construction, or program modifications and structural repairs to industrial and managerial personnel.
  • Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.
  • Estimate quantities and cost of materials, equipment, or labor to determine project feasibility.
  • Test soils or materials to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations, concrete, asphalt, or steel.
  • Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, or material stress factors to determine design specifications.
  • Plan and design transportation or hydraulic systems and structures, following construction and government standards, using design software and drawing tools.
  • Analyze survey reports, maps, drawings, blueprints, aerial photography, and other topographical or geologic data to plan projects.
  • Prepare or present public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions.
  • Direct or participate in surveying to lay out installations or establish reference points, grades, or elevations to guide construction.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interests - Civil / Construction Engineer

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.


As a civil engineer you will work as in a team with a number of people including other engineers, sub-contractors, clients, quantity surveyors and local authorities.  
You will need to keep up-to-date with the latest materials, methods and techniques in design and construction. Computers are often used to calculate dimensions, produce accurate drawings, keep records and help plan the order of work. A good understanding of maths and physics is beneficial. You must be able to delegate work and work to schedule  
Civil engineers also need to cope with and solve any problems or difficulties that may arise on-site.

Entry Requirements - Civil / Construction Engineer

Entrants to Civil Engineering are usually graduates with a degree in Civil Engineering or related subject areas such as Structural Engineering, Construction Engineering, or Geomatics among others. Several colleges and IOTs throughout the country offer relevant courses. [See course list on this page]
Work experience in related areas during summer holidays, in order to gain extra practical experience is always valued by employers.

From 2013, graduates who wish to become Chartered Engineers must hold an accredited Masters degree (Level 9) or equivalent.

The Engineers Ireland CPD training programme organises, promotes and delivers a wide variety of technical and non-technical training courses, workshops and seminars which are available both in-house, and as public courses.

Civil engineering graduates can work as a civil engineer, technologist or technician. They have a creative, diverse and challenging career and make a real contribution to the needs of both modern and developing societies all over the world.

Employers of civil engineering graduates include:

  • ARUP
  • PM
  • OPW
  • Irish Rail
  • Government bodies
  • Local Authorities
  • Irish Defence Forces

Last Updated: October, 2014

Pay & Salary - Civil / Construction Engineer

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €35k - €65k

Construction Engineer 45-55
Civil & Structural Engineer 40-65

Progression into management and director positions can see salaries rise into the 65,000 to 100,000+ range.

Data Source(s):

Last Updated: January, 2019

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Civil / Construction Engineer

This occupation has been identified as a Job in Demand by the most recent National Skills Bulletin.

Output from the education and training system is not expected to be enough to meet growing demand. Shortages are only beginning to emerge and are small in numbers, although the reduced supply indicates that these shortages could be exacerbated in future years.

National Skills Buletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Civil / Construction Engineer

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